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Artificial Intelligence meets Autonomy at MATS 2022

The future was firmly in focus at the Marine Autonomy & Technology Showcase (MATS 2022), which was held at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton this week.

The aim of MATS is to explore the information needs of users of Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS), review the current technologies available to enable the data gathering for MAS users and explore the methods of taking that data and making it exploitable information for the user.

As part of this, GeoAcoustics had a table in the exhibition area and General Manager Richard Dowdeswell presented a paper on the use of AI in bathymetric data processing as part of ‘Theme 3, Data Collection and Information Generation’.

His presentation focused on the development and application of a new AI-powered data processing solution for GeoSwath 4. The system was developed through a collaboration project with the University of East Anglia’s School of Computing Sciences and will be ready soon as a free upgrade.

“It’s clear from what we’ve seen during MATS this week that AI-powered marine data processing is a key aspect of enabling truly autonomous marine surveying,” said Richard. “Autonomous platforms can only think for themselves when they have access to real-time, high quality data, which is exactly what our new solution for GeoSwath 4 provides.”

The NOC has been pioneering in the development of Marine Autonomous Systems for more than 25 years. MATS was established as a reflection of this in 2016 and despite skipping a year because of Covid, this year’s event was well attended and as focused as ever.

“MATS is important as it brings platform and sensor developers together with AI, data handling and machine learning specialists. Realising true autonomy requires deep interdisciplinary collaboration and this event is an excellent launch platform for transformative new technologies that can optimise marine survey operations,” concluded Richard.


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